It’s not about individual players but Team India, says Virat Kohli

Annette Crawford
August 8, 2018

"And, I am confident that at Lord's, the Mecca of Cricket, we will win and go on to win the series".

England squad for second Test: Cook, Jennings, Root, Pope, Bairstow, Buttler, Woakes, Moeen Ali, S Curran, Rashid, Broad, Anderson.

Unfortunately, Bumrah, who is travelling with the team and bowling in the nets, is yet to recover fully as his thumb will need more time to heal. That might play a big factor. It is a tempting thought to field two spinners, but we have to take a call on that depending on the team balance. "So we have to start well and try to stay on top if we can", he said.

India have not ruled out playing a second spinner, but Kohli said it was not easy to decide.

The skipper said that the right-handed Pope wasn't a tactic against Ravichandran Ashwin or Ishant Sharma, who have a good record against left-handed batsmen. The pitch looks very hard, the surface very dry. I'm not sure, having played quite a lot here, if it will change a huge amount. "So we'll turn up tomorrow, see if it looks any different, and then make that decision", he added.

Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes has been named as Stokes' replacement, while Ollie Pope has been drafted in for the dropped Dawid Malan. Root said that dropped catches in Birmingham were a concern against a quality side like India.

The Edgbaston Test was the closest opening match of a home series since the first match of the 2013 Ashes at Trent Bridge and Root hopes the intensity of the victory will herald a sustained improvement in form. It is not that you can't get out in sport and in cricket. "But in the second innings he was being himself", he signed off. "You can't pinpoint exactly what the mindset is when a player goes out to bat". On that last morning he batted 55 minutes and he faced 13-14 balls. 'It was very skilful to be able to manipulate him off the strike and starve him of facing the majority of deliveries'.

"And in the first innings, to create two half-chances and two clear chances was testament to how we've got good plans against him and found a way to potentially get him out. It doesn't matter whether I get the (team) over the line or Jinks (Ajinka Rahane) does or Vijay does or KL Rahul does or whoever does, as long as we cross the line, that is the only thing that matters".

"It obviously can get better". You are definitely going to get out, you just delay that.

And Root spoke of the confidence England had derived from winning a game which, on the third afternoon, seemed destined to end in defeat before Sam Curran turned the tide with a counter-attacking 63 from 65 balls. Calling Kohli "the greatest batsman in the world", Sinha praised the team at the reception and said, "The whole team has played very well".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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